Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 76

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“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinholt Niebuhr

Warning, it ended up being a long post!

This week I was saddened by an event that happened at my childhood temple.

Some of you who are FB friends may have already read a bit about this, but on Friday, my parents were out and about. They were on the phone to me as they were travelling to the temple to pay their respects. This is a temple that holds many memories for our family. We have been going for over 30 years. Obviously, since I got married, I don’t go as often, but my parents do. In fact, my Pops goes 3-4 times a week.

On this particular evening, when they got there, a ‘security person’ was in place. Nowadays they need security to turn away cars, as the carpark gets closed in the evenings, due to people parking there for reasons not related to the Gurdwara.

My parents were asked, “Are you part of the Jatha?” [Jatha is like a group/army/flock of like-minded Sikhs who go to the temple, and in this case, I believe are fully baptised, or amritdhari]

My parents are not fully baptised, but this doesn’t mean they are not religious.

My Pops said that he has been coming there for many years. All they wanted to do was to pay their respects, then leave. The man continued in the same vein, that if you are not part of the Jatha, you are not allowed in after 8.45pm.

I have never heard this ‘rule’ before, and neither had my parents.

“What do you need to be to be part of the Jatha?” My Pops asked. ” I have never filled in a form, but I believe.”

He even told the man to go ask someone inside… My Pops is known there to all the regulars.

My mum was getting really frustrated. She urged Pops to just leave.

(I was listening to all of this as they hadn’t ended the call.)

A woman came out, and recognising my Pops, said to him, to go in and pay his respects, no one can stop him. Her son was also getting annoyed at the man preventing entry into the Gurdwara.

In the end, Pops asked the man, “Just tell me, will you allow me to come in?”

He repeated, ” Are you part of the Jatha?”

“No,” Pops said, “I asked, yes or no, will you let me in?”

“I say no.”

And that was that. They calmly turned away, and went home.

I was fuming! Our family are known to the temple. The gentleman who is associated as the head of the Jatha is a family friend, and has been lauded publicly by the Queen, and the Pope, and various other associations, for his work with keeping Religious peace. Behaviour like this would damage not only the Gurdwara’s reputation, but his too.

I know this is not his saying or doing.  And rather than playing the “Who I know” card, there should have never been a refusal of entry to anyone to a Gurdwara. It is a place of worship where everyone is welcome. This is the reason why a Gurdwara is meant to have entrances in all four walls, North, South, East and West, to welcome all.

Surely behaviour like this, allowing only amritdhari folk (which I assume is the main criteria for being a member of the Jatha) into the temple at certain times, is totally against the rhetoric, and beliefs of our Gurus?

My mum phoned someone she knew, (part of the Jatha) who was horrified. She phoned Babaji’s, (the main man) wife, who didn’t know anything about this ‘rule’.

My cousin, who is also part of the Jatha called my Pops, to get more details. There was an apology from the gurdwara, and the guy who was at the door was spoken to.

I, of course, popped a post on FB. My Pops was initially upset at me. He didn’t want the Gurdwara to be put to shame. But you know, this wasn’t about the temple, it was about the people who think they can make their own rules. Are they doing some sort of Sikhi cleansing, and only allowing baptised Sikhs in? I was never aware that Gurdwaras had guest lists?

My Pops was initially upset at me. He didn’t want the Gurdwara to be put to shame. But you know, this wasn’t about the temple, it was about the people who think they can make their own rules. Are they doing some sort of Sikhi cleansing, and only allowing baptised Sikhs in? I was never aware that Gurdwaras had guest lists?

Then Pops thought, maybe some good would come of this. We are taught to believe that our Gurus could come, in any form, to our doorstep, be it the temple or home. You should treat all visitors the same. Who knows if Guruji chose a specific form to come to visit your home in? If you treat people the same, there is no worry, but if you differentiate, you are creating the very problem that the Gurus tried to erase, by casting aside the caste system, and creating equality between genders too.

We are taught to believe that our Gurus could come, in any form, to our doorstep, be it the temple or home. You should treat all visitors the same. Who knows if Guruji chose a specific form to come to visit your home in? If you treat people the same, there is no worry, but if you differentiate, you are creating the very problem that the Gurus tried to erase, by casting aside the caste system, and creating equality between genders too.

The Gurdwara management are now holding a meeting on Monday, tomorrow, to discuss this very issue now, on the back of this incident. My Pops has been asked to submit a written report. Apparently, there have been other complaints of a similar nature. If the seniors of the Gurdwara hadn’t enforced this rule, then they need to work out who thought this was a good thing to do, and then nip it in the bud.

I just hope it all gets cleared up. I hate to think that the place I got married in, where I spent a lot of my childhood, will have its memories for me tarnished by an incident like this…

Now for all or you, have a blessed Sunday Peeps! May all your dreams come true!

 

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amommasview
    Aug 02, 2016 @ 01:44:53

    That would have me in fumes too! Don’t even know what to say here it actually makes me mad to hear what happened to your Pop. It’s not okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    Aug 01, 2016 @ 16:56:53

    I can certainly understand your parents’ and your frustration. I hope there is a positive outcome. Thinking of you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Tikeetha T
    Aug 01, 2016 @ 16:17:43

    I’m trying to understand. So, the temple has a requirement that people have to be of a certain religion? Aren’t all welcome into a temple or house of worship? Was there a special event going on?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 01, 2016 @ 16:41:56

      We are Sikh. A Gurdwara is a Sikh temple. But someone seemed to think they could differentiate between Baptised Sikhs and those practicing but not formally Baptised… which is wrong.
      And yes all should be welcome regardless of colour or creed in a house of worship
      … 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  4. Graeme Cumming
    Aug 01, 2016 @ 11:14:14

    Contemplating what you’ve written here, I can’t help but wonder if someone’s just misunderstood something they’ve been asked to do. Very often, what we perceive as conspiracy is simply incompetence. An inability for an individual to think for themselves and apply common sense then compounds the problem.

    The reassuring thing is that the management have responded promptly (having been on many committees over the years, I can assure you that getting the relevant people together to discuss anything within a few days is very prompt), so at least you have the consolation that the matter is being taken seriously.

    I may be being optimistic, but I believe, at heart, most of us just want to do the right thing – and I hope I’m proved right here.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 01, 2016 @ 12:05:56

      I agree… but there have been other complaints apparently about similar behaviour…
      And the best thing…. because I write a post on FB saying bit was feeling sad… someone thinks they shouldn’t discuss it now!
      Seriously?! What happened to freedom of speech?
      I think they need to help more active on Social Media as there are some negative comments on their actual page that have no response… I kept mine private as it was not an attack on the temple but a statement of my disappointment that a place so close to my heart could have its reputation tarnished number the acts of an uneducated few….

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  5. Lisa A.
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 19:20:53

    Oh no! I hope something gets resolved because that wasn’t right. I’m sure you’ll keep us updated??

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  6. willowdot21
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 17:33:57

    Sadly there are zealots and bullies in every religion. xxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  7. Don Royster
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 15:11:31

    This is so sad. There seems to be a movement in the world these days to put up walls and barriers. Often many of the very people who should be tearing down these walls are the ones throwing them. I am thankful that your temple is trying to resolve this in a positive way and treat all as neighbors.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 31, 2016 @ 15:13:12

      Thanks Don. I just hope that by getting this message to the top, so to speak, they can rectify the situation and also educate those in danger of what is likely to be labelled as extremism…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  8. DotedOn
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 14:25:07

    This really shocked me, Ritu. I’m sorry you and your parents had to go through this. It’s awful. I can’t believe how something like that could help anyone or anything. It just creates frustration, hate and all negative things. Your parents took it in a nice way and decided to leave but not many people react the same way. Many could get violent after such a rejection and start a fight in a place where it’s supposed to keep religious peace.
    Have a nice Sunday 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 31, 2016 @ 14:39:49

      Thank you for your words. You’re right it was not the correct thing to have happened but my parents are more dignified than that thankfully. And they still have a deep respect for the temple and religion, regardless of what some people are trying to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  9. Erika Kind
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 13:55:59

    This is absolutely ridiculous! That is the problem when all and everything is put into rules and orders. Something like that can get me fuming too. But then again as you say…. who knows what this incident may trigger for something better. We only know when looking back!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  10. TanGental
    Jul 31, 2016 @ 10:49:20

    Seriously annoying at worst and sinister at best. Hopefully it is sorted

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 31, 2016 @ 10:51:14

      I hope so Geoffles… It did hurt my parents, who are spiritual people… But my Pops really didn’t want the temple dragged through the mud…
      Hopefully the individuals who are trying to play God, in a misguided way, will be advised, and things will get sorted. I’d hate to feel like I don’t want to go there again…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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